The country’s roadways are for all to enjoy. Tens of millions of cars take to the highways every day, but they’re not the only mode of transportation allowed on the road. Cyclists and pedestrians also make use of streets when sidewalks or biking paths are unavailable.
Although biking and walking are inherently safe activities for millions of people per year, motorists, cyclists and pedestrians can all take steps to make roads safer for everyone.
Follow the rules of the road. Whether you’re riding a bike or driving a motor vehicle, the rules of the road are the same. That means heeding traffic signals, signage, right-of-way, speed limits, and much more.
Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs motor skills, which are necessary to walk and operate cars and bicycles safely. Many accidents and fatalities on the roads can be traced to alcohol consumption. Do not drink and drive or drink and ride. Pedestrians who need to walk heavily trafficked areas would be smart to limit their alcohol consumption as well.
Make yourself more visible. Pedestrians and cyclists can make themselves more visible to motorists in various ways. Wear bright-colored, reflective gear when walking or riding, and install reflective lights on bicycles.
Remain alert at all times when behind the wheel. Motorists should be focused on the road at all times, avoiding distractions such as smartphones and in-vehicle entertainment systems. Such devices can dramatically reduce motorists’ reaction times, greatly increasing the risk of accident. Slow down when cyclists, runners and other pedestrians are nearby.
Pass safely and give room. Do not pass too closely when driving near cyclists and pedestrians. Always yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
Whether driving, riding a bicycle or walking, everyone should work together to share roads safely. For more information, visit www.nhtsa.gov.